Letters/press releases to the editor

Want to send this page or a link to a friend? Click on mail at the top of this window.
Letters are welcome and should be addressed to the Editor at Wehaitians.com. E-mail: wehaitians@gis.net
Posted November 17, 2008
Press Release
RNC: Obama's Good Counsel?
WASHINGTON, Nov 17, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Obama Names Greg Craig As White House Counsel, A Man Who Has Represented Numerous Controversial Clients

The following release was issued today by the Republican National Committee:

Craig Has Defended Numerous Controversial Clients:

Craig Represented John Hinckley, Jr., Who Attempted To Assassinate President Reagan. "Prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed yesterday that John W. Hinckley Jr., the man accused of attempting to assassinate President Reagan, remains competent to stand trial Jan. 4 despite his attempt three weeks ago to hang himself in his cell in the Army stockade at Fort Meade. ..Hinckley's attorneys, Vincent J. Fuller and Gregory B. Craig, filed a memorandum in U.S. District Court yesterday saying that 'at this time, we believe he is competent to stand trial and that no evidentiary hearing on that issue is presently required.'" (Al Kamen, "Examinations Find Hinckley Competent To Face Trial Jan. 4," The Washington Post, 12/8/81)

Craig Defended Pedro Miguel Gonzalez, President Of Panama's Legislature, Under U.S. Indictment For The 1992 Murder Of A U.S. Soldier. "Now [Craig] is defending Pedro Miguel Gonzalez, another Noriega loyalist and the president of Panama's legislature. Mr. Gonzalez is a fugitive under federal indictment for the murder of U.S. Army Sgt. Zak Hernandez Laporte on the eve of President George H.W. Bush's visit to Panama in 1992. Though Mr. Gonzalez denies involvement, significant FBI evidence suggests otherwise." (Editorial, "Obama Aide Must Choose Work With Candidate Or Defend Wanted Man," The Dallas Morning News, 1/14/08)

-- "Gonzalez Is Still Wanted In The U.S., And The State Department Has Criticized Gonzalez's Election. U.S. Government Sources Who Asked Not To Be Identified Said Gonzalez's Assembly Leadership Might Even Block The Pending U.S.-Panama Free Trade Agreement." (Lucy Conger, "Panama Launches Expansion Of Canal," Los Angeles Times, 9/4/07)

-- The Dallas Morning News Criticized Obama For Failing To Force Craig To Resign From The Campaign Or Sever Ties With His Law Firm, Potentially Creating Conflicts Of Interest. The Dallas Morning News: "If ever a defendant needed a well-placed and influential lawyer like Gregory Craig, it is Mr. Gonzalez -- but not while Mr. Craig holds a senior position in Mr. Obama's presidential campaign. (Mr. Craig did not respond to our interview request.) We've cited Mr. Obama's judgment and credibility as major reasons why he deserves the Democratic nomination. Mr. Obama has made clear that the White House is no place for influence-peddlers and special interests. 'I will make it absolutely clear that working in an Obama administration is not about serving your former employer, your future employer or your bank account,' he said in June. This is one instance where he needs to show presidential decisiveness by asking Mr. Craig to choose between the campaign and involvement in a legal case where hot-button bilateral issues -- and a Senate vote -- hang in the balance." (Editorial, "Obama Aide Must Choose Work With Candidate Or Defend Wanted Man," The Dallas Morning News, 1/14/08)

Craig Represented Bolivian Defense Minister Carlos Sanchez-Berzain Who Was Accused Of Human Rights Abuses For Heavy Handed Tactics To Put Down Labor Riots Which Led To 67 Deaths. "A former Bolivian defense minister now living in Pinecrest is accused in a federal lawsuit of 'crimes against humanity' in the deaths of 67 people, among them children, during bloody labor riots four years ago in Bolivia. The former official, Carlos Sanchez-Berzain, says he welcomes the lawsuit ... Sanchez de Lozada's Washington attorney says the Maryland lawsuit is an abuse of federal law. 'This is not a legitimate human rights case,' Greg Craig said. 'It involves domestic turbulence that resulted tragically in the loss of life,' Craig said. 'But the notion that it was the policy of Sanchez de Lozada to shoot 8-year-olds or that it was the policy of the government of Bolivia when he was president to engage in genocide or engage in crimes against humanity, that is just preposterous. It's an irresponsible lawsuit.'" (Alfonso Chardy, "Bolivian Ex-Official Sued Over '03 Riot Deaths," The Miami Herald, 10/16/07)

Craig Represented Father Of Elian Gonzalez, Juan Miguel, And Maintains A Cordial Friendship With Him. "Washington insider Greg Craig, once President Clinton's attorney, said his Williams & Connolly law practice is unchanged by his representation of Juan Miguel. Craig, who said his wife and five kids got close to the Gonzalezes, called the case 'one of the most satisfying experiences I have had as a lawyer.' Juan Miguel has rung up the Craig home at least a half-dozen times from Cardenas, Craig said, when an English speaker can help with the call. Once, he said, Elian came on the phone. 'He said, "Hello Greg." It was probably around birthday time.' Financially, Craig did fine, too." (Carol Rosenberg, "Year After Raid, Most Lives Back To Normal," The Miami Herald, 4/22/01)

-- Craig Prepared Two Private Jets To Aid The Gonzalez Family's Return To Cuba. "A government source said Gonzalez family lawyer Greg Craig 'is planning to have two private jets ready to take Elian, his family and schoolmates [who were brought here to keep him company] back to Cuba.'" (Maria Alvarez, "Jets Set To Send Elian And Dad Back To Cuba," New York Post, 6/28/00)

-- During His Representation Of Juan Miguel, Craig Criticized Elian's Relatives' Commitment To The Boy. "Craig also took a jab at Elian's great-uncle Lazaro Gonzalez, who fought to keep the boy in Miami. He said Lazaro's only contact with Elian before the boy was rescued last November was during a 1998 visit to Cuba and 'according to Juan Miguel, Lazaro paid no attention to the boy during that visit.'" (William Neuman, "Fidel Leads Elian-Fueled March," New York Post, 5/2/00)

-- Craig Claimed He Was Merely Trying To Ensure That Juan Miguel Was Free "To Make A Decision Where And How He Wants To Raise His Family." NBC's Tim Russert: "Many critics have said, Mr. Craig, 'When you say "set Elian free," set him free to go back to Cuba, the most authoritative government in the world,' how can you use those kinds of words?" Greg Craig: "Well, what I want to do is to set Juan Miguel free, the father, to make a decision uncoerced from Havana, uncoerced from Miami, uncoerced by the press, independently and freely to make a decision where and how he wants to raise his family. That's all I'm concerned about." (NBC's "Meet The Press," 6/4/00)

-- Craig Defended Himself Against Charges That He Was "A Pawn Of Fidel Castro" By Noting That He Learned The Importance Of Family From The Elian Gonzalez Case. Russert: "Some critics saying you're a pawn of Fidel Castro; others say you're a hero because you reunited a father with his son. What have you learned from all of this?" Craig: "Well, I think the answer to that question is that I've learn that family is central in my life. It's central in the lives of people who live in different countries and different cultures and different political systems all over the world. And no matter what the politics or the culture is, there's something absolutely sacred about the family; that nothing can intrude upon that; that fathers all over the world feel the same way about their children. And that's a universal feeling and a universal principle that I think we should respect." (NBC's "Meet The Press," 6/4/00)

"Soon After His Election As President, Fradique De Menezes, A Cocoa Plantation Owner, Vowed That His Country Would Be Different. And He Turned For Help To Outsiders Like Mr. Craig, The Washington Lawyer Who Represented President Clinton During His Impeachment Trial." (Barry Meier and Jad Mouawad, "No Oil Yet, But Tiny African Isle Finds Dealings Just As Slippery," The New York Times, 7/2/07)

-- Two Senior Sao Tom Government Officials Have Resigned Citing Corruption In President De Menezes's Distribution Of Oil Rights. "In June Prime Minister D'Almeida resigned and the MLSTP party withdrew from the government, alleging that President De Menezes awarded oil rights within the Nigerian-Sao Tomean Joint Development Zone in an allegedly corrupt and nontransparent manner. The attorney general was investigating the allegations at year's end. In May Oil Minister Arlindo de Carvalho resigned, citing similar irregularities in the contracting process." (U.S. Department Of State, Bureau Of Democracy, Human Rights, And Labor, "Sao Tome And Principe," www.state.gov, 3/6/08)

Craig Represented Haiti's Rich Mevs Family Which "Rose To Great Wealth During The Dictatorship Of Francois 'Papa Doc' Duvalier With A Monopoly On The Country's Sugar Industry." "A well-connected Washington attorney hired by one of Haiti's wealthiest families is quietly playing a major -- and controversial -- role in brokering a political solution to Haiti's simmering crisis. Gregory Craig is a former Yale classmate of the Clintons; his clients have ranged from Sen. Edward M. Kennedy to John Hinckley. For 15 months, Mr. Craig has used the resources of Haiti's Mevs family in trying to forge a political onsensus [sic] in that deeply divided country. At the same time, Mr. Craig and Sven Holmes, one of his colleagues at the prestigious law firm of Williams & Connolly, have served as intermediaries between senior State Department officials and the Mevses, one of a handful of families who rose to great wealth during the dictatorship of Francois 'Papa Doc' Duvalier with a monopoly on the country's sugar industry." (Don Bohning and Christopher Marquis, "Attorney For Wealthy Haitians Criticized For Role In US Talks," Journal Of Commerce, 3/4/93) -- The Mevses Were Considered A Backer Of A Coup, Deposing A Democratically Elected Government, Sparking Charges That Craig Was Attempting To Steer The Outcome Of Peace Talks In Haiti To Benefit The Mevses. "Many of those same families were believed to have backed the September 1991 coup that ousted Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Haiti's first democratically elected president. Despite signs of progress in Haiti, the link established by Mr. Craig between U.S. officials and the Mevses has drawn sharp criticism from all sides in Haiti's delicate peace process. The critics -- who include other U.S. officials -- question both the propriety of the contacts and the role played by the Mevses -- with Mr. Craig serving as the intermediary -- in attempting to dictate the outcome in Haiti." (Don Bohning and Christopher Marquis, "Attorney For Wealthy Haitians Criticized For Role In US Talks," Journal Of Commerce, 3/4/93)

A Product Of The RNC Research Department

Paid for by the Republican National Committee.

Not Authorized By Any Candidate Or Candidate's Committee. SOURCE Republican National Committee http://www.gop.com Copyright (C) 2008 PR Newswire. All rights reserved
Wehaitians.com, the scholarly journal of democracy
More from wehaitians.com
Main / Columns / Books And Arts / Miscellaneous